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Football and the... Environment?

The connection between sports and the planet.

By Steve Jones

I will admit it to all. I am a football fan. Love my Carolina Panthers and have relished their presence in my hometown of Charlotte. So my first trip to Panthers training camp in Spartanburg, SC recently was exciting.

There, mere yards away, were Steve Smith, Jake Delhomme, Mushin Muhammad, Jon Beason and yes, even Julius Peppers. On a hot humid day with a light breeze blowing, I watched the guys from my television practicing right in front of me.

Oddly enough, one thought that crossed my mind was 'What if they couldn't play?' Say the air was too polluted with particulates or the ozone was overly harsh. Or the supply of clean drinking water that keeps these world class athletes going was undrinkable.

There would be no football.

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Photo by Zane

The existence of our sports themselves is dependent on a safe planet. Remember leading up to the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing? Marathons and other events were threatened by smog. Runners' health would actually be threatened by the simple act of running.

Sports such as sailing, triathlons, golf, baseball, soccer and many too numerous to list must have venues that are environmentally safe. Without them, the games cannot go on.

Consider your personal health. What if walking or jogging, games of softball at the local park or a swim in the lake were a thing of the past?

As you are sitting back watching a game, tossing a ball with your child or riding a bike, take a minute to thank Mother Nature and give some thought to giving her a little much needed help. Let passion for sports coincide with a passion to protect the environment. The games depend on you.